TV host Stephen Mulhern has warned presenters Ant and Dec to “watch out” after they caught him out in an epic prank, which will be shown on tonight’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
The duo took over an entire theatre, where Mulhern was performing in a Sleeping Beauty panto, landing him in all sorts of live trouble – from soaking his costumes to messing up his magic tricks.
It’s their biggest prank yet and Mulhern admits he’s mortified they got away with it after years of telling them they’d never get one over on him.
Ant and Dec have form for this after all. Many times have they whipped on the prosthetics to trick celebrities, including Olly Murs and Simon Cowell.
But Mulhern says he’s always been sure he’d catch them in the act.
“I’ve always said to them, ‘You’ll never get me’,” Mulhern told RadioTimes.com. “I see them so often, and we live five minutes away from each other as well, so if they were trying to get me with prosthetics, I know for a fact that I’d nail it straight away.”
But the duo didn’t need prosthetics for this trick, instead causing most of their mischief ahead of the show, before appearing on stage hidden in oversize soldier costumes for the big reveal.
“My heart sank when I saw them. Talk about hook line and sinker! I’d like to say I had a clue, but I didn’t,” Mulhern cringed.
Ant and Dec certainly went to great lengths; filling the entire audience with people in on the act and being sure to mess up all of the props the star had himself checked moments before.
Mulhern reveals that they actually installed the cameras in his dressing room six months before the prank. They even redecorated the entire backstage area so the changes to his dressing room didn’t stand out. Although the lads did have to quickly turn off the cameras when it became apparent Mulhern has a habit of showering twenty minutes before curtain call. “I dread to think what else they’ve got to be honest,” Mulhern laughed somewhat nervously.
While the Big Star’s Little Star host hasn’t been allowed to see the footage ahead of tonight’s Takeaway show – in order to catch his reaction just so – he’s glad he’s no diva. “I’m not a nightmare. I don’t lose my temper when things go wrong. I did swear a couple of times. I was just mortified.”
“I was always one of those people that, sometimes, when I saw those sort of pranks I’d go, ‘Oh come on, they must have known.’ But wow, talk about eat your own words. I didn’t have a clue.”
Mulhern is heading back to panto at the end of the year and admits he’ll be “slightly dubious” if things go wrong. But they haven’t scared him off.
Now his focus is revenge.
“100% they better watch out, because it’s coming,” Mulhern warned.
“It makes me smile that they’ve managed to do it because I was so confident that they couldn’t. Am I mortified that they’ve got away with it? Yes. Will I be getting my own back? Well, bet your money on it. I need time now. There’s two of them and only one of me, and I need time to work out what’s best to do. I can’t express enough, I will get them back.”
Could Britain’s Got Talent, where Mulhern hosts the spin-off to Ant and Dec’s main show, be the right place for it? “Well, do you know what, anything can happen when you’re live. Let’s hope nothing happens to them…”
See the full prank on tonight’s Saturday Night Take Away from 7:00pm on ITV and see Mulhern on Big Star’s Little Star Wednesdays at 8:00pm on ITV.